Tag Archives: portland landscaping

A Front Yard Facelift

30 Aug

By John Curtis – Landscape designer at Dennis’ 7 Dees

Have you ever thought about how to modernize a tired looking front yard?  The same one you have been walking past for so many years and wondering what could be done to freshen it up.  Here is an example of a front yard renovation project that gives a new look to an older style home.

The first goal was to create an updated look to the front entry.  Another was to improve the handicap access of the front walkway.  Because the entire front yard lawn sloped towards the house there was also a seasonal drainage issue that needed to be addressed.  Water would accumulate around the front of the garage and entry during periods of heavy rain.

The design plan called for removal of the dated brick planter and entry walkway.  The brick planter was replaced with a simple soil mound and large boulders.  The brick walkway was replaced with a modern concrete paver pathway which was built up on both sides as it approached the front porch.  This eliminated the steps and created a smooth surface and transition to the front porch that is easy to negotiate.

To solve the drainage issue, a decorative ‘dry creek bed’ was constructed with perforated drain pipe underneath to intercept any seasonal water build up and carry it away from the front of the garage and entry.

The owner had previously taken out some large trees and opened up planting areas that had been mostly shady in the past.  Now these areas had a sunny, southwest, exposure and needed new plantings to fit the change in sunlight conditions  The plantings were designed with a mix of evergreens, seasonal perennials and ornamental grasses to give a long lasting display of colors and interest throughout the spring and summer.

By implementing these landscape improvements, the entire look of this 1950’s ranch style home was successfully updated and the handicap access and drainage issues were effectively resolved.

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Value of a Landscape Design

31 May

By Spencer Anderson – Landscape Designer at Dennis’ 7 Dees

Why should you have a professional design your landscape?  I think a better question would be why not?  Would you have a contractor build you a new house or remodel your existing home without first working with them on creating a design and making a plan?  Of course not!  There is too much risk and uncertainty of the end result!  You may end up with a Colonial style of home when what you really wanted was a Victorian style or you may find yourself settling for a two car garage when you wish you had room for three cars.  If there is no vision or design in the beginning then unnecessary stress will likely occur sometime during the project and expectations will be left unmet once the project is finished.  Keep reading to find out how working with a professional landscape designer on creating and implementing a design for your landscaping project will greatly reduce risk and eliminate stress and uncertainty from the landscaping process.

Perhaps the most important aspect of working with anyone on any project is to make sure that communication is superb to where you are both on the same page from the time that you first say, “Hello nice to meet you!” to the final project walk-through where you say, “It was a pleasure doing business with you…and I look forward to working with you on future projects!”  Good communication on one successful project will enviably lead to more successful projects together in the future.  A design is an essential tool in building that communication and aligning your thoughts and ideas with those of your landscaper.  Sometimes what sounds like a good idea for your landscape doesn’t always work out with your space.  Maybe the area is too small to comfortably fit the patio, fire pit, gazebo and water feature or perhaps there is not enough sunlight to have a successful back lawn or maybe two steps will be required to transition from the house to the patio instead of the anticipated one.  These initial ideas that may or may not work for your landscape are best tested out first in a preliminary design where the cost of a mistake is the rub of an eraser or a new sheet of paper before the construction begins compared to a patio tear out or lawn replacement after the project is completed.

Project Plan View

Some are not interested in a design because they don’t want to pay for it or think it should be free along with the bid so they opt out of the design or they choose another company who will give them a so called ‘free’ design.  While this may sound like a money saver in the beginning it could end up costing a whole lot more if the install doesn’t run smoothly and work needs to be redone or a last minute design needs to be pieced together on site.  A design will help to determine the budget and allow the contractor to stay within that budget throughout the installation process.  This will bring you peace of mind that you are getting the landscape that you want and staying within your budget.

For those who have a hard time visualizing how their landscape will look even after a design there is good news…the design can be used to create sectional views, perspective drawings or even virtual walk-throughs.  These design services allow you to take your new landscape for a test drive before you make the investment.

Perspective Drawing

Be assured that a landscape design from Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping has been accurately measured and drawn precisely to scale to represent your property and new landscape plans.  This precision in design allows me to plan your space based on your wants and needs…and use my creative license when needed.  I usually come across two types of clients…those who have a general idea of what they want for their landscape, but aren’t quite sure how it will work with their space and those who aren’t quite sure what they want and are looking for good ideas and practical solutions.  A design will service both types of clients very well and help get them both to the gratifying results that they are looking for.  So how do we provide the gratifying results that our clients are looking for by simply creating an accurate design?  The answer is simple…we install the landscape designs that we create!  This allows us to take responsibility for our design and assures that it is implemented with accuracy and precision.  No one is going to know the design better than the designer, so it makes sense to us to have the designer as your project manager.

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